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71-year-old man drowns in river

July 20, 1997

By JENNYLYNN BROWN

Staff Writer

FALLING WATERS, W.Va. - A family fishing trip turned tragic when two boys found the body of their grandfather Sunday morning in the Potomac River, a spokeswoman for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources said.

Samuel Guice, 71, of 909 Shaffer Drive, drowned a little after midnight near the place he and the boys had earlier fished, said Patricia Manown of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources.

DNR police called the death an accidental drowning.

Manown said that Guice and the two juveniles, believed to be his grandson and stepgrandson, went camping on Veterans of Foreign Wars property on the West Virginia side of the Potomac River, one mile up-river from Four Locks Boat ramp on the Maryland side.

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The group went fishing and returned to their camp near midnight, she said.

On Sunday morning, the boys could not find Guice.

At 10 a.m., they went to the riverbank and found his fishing gear on the dock. Guice's body was floating in the water about 10 feet from the dock, Manown said.

West Virginia State police responded to the boys' 911 call, and notified Maryland State Police and Maryland Department of National Resources police.

Boaters at the scene helped get Guice's body out of the water, she said.

Maryland Medical Examiner Dr. Allen Ditto called Kerfoot Livery Service to transport the body to Baltimore for an autopsy.

The death is being investigated by Maryland Department of Natural Resources police, who believe that because alcohol may have been involved, the drowning was accidental.

Guice, originally from New Orleans, La., served 20 years in the Navy, said his wife Mayme Deloris Guice, 61.

"He liked to watch the river. He had me drive him down every evening at sunset. He'd talk to his sons and his fellow mates. It was his way of prayin'."

Mayme Deloris Guice said her husband was very proud of his military career. "He was a five-time combat veteran, 100 percent disabled," she said.

After retiring from the service, Samuel Guice worked as a nurse at the Martinsburg Veterans Affairs Medical Center, she said.

"The water was what he would've wanted. He'd always say `Someday, I'll join them' - his 26 buddies. I think it was meant to be this way."

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